Why Voiceover Matters and How We Need To Keep the Human In It

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Voiceover has been around for years. It surrounds us daily.

You hear it everywhere – it’s the narration, dialogue and speech that you hear in all types of media. We’re talking about radio, television, internet content (webcasts, podcasts, online courses, video games etc.), announcements you hear waiting for your next train, even while waiting on hold for a customer representative.

Virtually any type of application you can think of that requires the voice to be heard, it’s voiceover!

It’s so widespread you probably don’t even really register there’s a human behind the voice and how it plays such an integral role in our everyday lives.

Why Voiceover Matters

It’s not hard to imagine why voiceover matters.

We use it in various forms of content, and for different purposes.

It could be used to tell a story, enhance experiences, simplify complex ideas, and assist to provide accessible information for all.

Since the pandemic, there’s been a growing need for voiceovers and, the voiceover industry has seen a boom.

It’s no secret that it exponentially drove our consumption of media and information online and changed the way we connect with each other.

This led businesses everywhere to have to quickly adapt, re-evaluate how they do everything, and scramble to find ways to figure out how to serve audiences with their products and services.

Like many other industries, the voiceover world evolved. The community took on the challenge. With the advancement of technology and the human spirit, we found ways to better communicate and work together remotely so that we could continue production processes and various projects alive.

This was not only to keep up with the growing popularity of digital and video platform consumptions, or the demands of remote learning trends.

It was something visceral where many people in the industry felt it was important and a responsibility. To keep the human spirit alive during a time when people felt isolated, starved for human contact and craved connectedness with another being.

As a voice artist, that’s why I love doing what I do. I get to tap in to my human emotions and discover parts of me that I may have tucked away in a little box somewhere due to societal expectations.

Voiceover enables me to unravel it and has helped me to learn how to feel and express myself. The ability to feel is what we have been gifted as a human being when we were brought into this world. It’s what sets us apart from other living things.

However, as we move through the various stages of life and learn to connect with the world around us, different factors lead us to condition ourselves to numb our feelings… whether it’s to be liked, or feel safe, etc. When we numb our emotions we start to forget what the core part of being human is all about.

It’s about being able to feel all different kinds of emotions. The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, experiencing life more fully, instead of living a life devoid of connectedness, as we are busy trying to protect ourselves and fit into outdated societal molds.

Thus voiceover like many art forms is so important because it is what helps give color to life and meaning to what you’re experiencing.  We’re here to keep the voice of humanity alive. To celebrate and engage in dialogue! To remind you to feel, to awaken to your emotions, that you are human.

The Caveat

As trends of video content and virtual reality progresses, technology continues to also advance.

And for some companies looking for cost-effective solutions, may choose AI to replace a human voice. However, even though AI may be able to process a language, make the sounds, and perhaps create the illusion of human emotion. That’s all it does – it processes and give information. It does not create an authentic experience.

You can never really fool someone into believing something unless it is genuinely real. There’s something empty about the AI voices. It lacks the heart and soul, so to speak. It cannot replace human’s basic desires of the need to feel connected with another social being that has soul.

Thus, as technology continues to advance, there is one thing that we must not let die: the human voice. it’s important that we keep accessing voice from a human perspective and to keep the human in it.

Photo by: Barbara Zandoval

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